This year I rated 406 prospects overall. The complete list can be found here.
The lists are broken down into five different categories this year: Quarterbacks/Running backs, Receivers/Tight ends, Offensive line (T/G/C), Defensive front (DE/DT) and Defensive back (LB/CB/S). It’s important to note these are my personal rankings after months of evaluation. To be rated I need to have seen at least two full games of a player, preferably more. This is not in any way indicative of anticipated draft order.
As a general rule of thumb, I am more wary of injuries and age as negatives than most evaluators. Character concerns are tricky because much of the information is one-sided. Convictions speak a lot louder than allegations.
This is an interesting group, as there is a lot of potential but every one of the top players has legitimate question marks. The order in which they will be drafted is a huge mystery as a result.
San Diego State
Collins is a beastly mauler, a mover of men with great second-surge strength and enough lateral agility and balance that I would keep him at tackle, though many see him as a better guard prospect. He needs some technical coordination in his pass protection but is a ready-made starting right tackle who can play the left side in a year or two. He can be better than Trent Williams.
Humphries is a big projection, albeit one with some fantastic physical tools. Athleticism is his calling card, and he mitigated the biggest concern by weighing in at 305-308 after playing for the Gators in the 280s. He still needs to show it’s functional bulk and must learn to lock out his shoulders when engaged, but the upside is quite tantalizing. Fair bust potential too.
Fisher also possesses outstanding agility and quickness, but like Humphries there are questions about his functional strength and ability to set a hard edge or create movement in the run game. He’s a converted tight end and has limited (19 games) experience, so you’re drafting him for 2016 and beyond. Riskier than Humphries but similar players, Fisher’s upside is a little higher to me.
Clemmings is another project, a converted defensive end. He must learn to sustain his blocks, but his strength and ability to slide wide and engage with powerful hands is elite. He’s a right tackle only but could be a great one in time. A bad Senior Bowl week dulled his luster and showed his lack of instincts.
With Ogbuehi, a team is also picking for the long-term instead of immediate need. He tore his ACL in December and is likely to miss at least most of his rookie season. He’s played both tackle spots and has outstanding length. There really is only one weakness to his on-field game, but it’s really, really bad right now: his hands. His punch is all over the place and often has no force at all behind it, and he doesn’t step into it or unleash power through his shoulders well. That is fixable but it 100% must be fixed or else he won’t last 5 years. He could be great. Would be #2 without the knee issue.
I’m more down on Flowers and especially Peat than most. Flowers lunges and falls off his blocks way too much for my liking, though he can be a devastating run blocker and is a better mover than he often shows on tape. Peat is inconsistent and often plays without purpose. In my experience that is not something that ever changes. He will be the first tackle off the board.
I like Havenstein as a function over form kind of player. It’s not often pretty but he gets the job done. Williams is grabby but down blocks from right tackle (ask Malcom Brown) better than anyone in this class. He has a better skill set for guard but might play too high to move inside. I erroneously omitted his Sooner teammate Tyrus Thompson from my list; he’s a holding machine but was better on the field in 2012 than #4 overall pick Lane Johnson and that guy is still there, somewhere. Maybe. He’d be slotted after Donovan Smith here. Smith is a divisive prospect; some really love him. I saw him in person versus Michigan and he got routinely thrashed by a backup who couldn’t do anything against Miami OH. That stains my viewpoint.
Robinson and Morse are both players who could outperform their rankings and it wouldn’t surprise me. Robinson has outstanding length and understands his game well. Morse brings the versatility to play any spot and should become an ideal 6th lineman, which is a more valuable position than it sounds. He’s a better pass protector than former Tigers mate Justin Britt, who started at RT as a 2nd-round rookie for Seattle last year.
Of the deep guys, Manhart is probably going to need to move inside but must add functional mass and sand in his pants. Clausell has the makings of a solid #3 tackle, though he’s not quick. Hickey is a try-hard, likable guy but his knee braces are more strained than Israeli-Iranian relations.
The top player here played tackle in college, and several others are going to make the transition inside at the next level, too. Yet the second tier here is quite deep and features talents who have proven they can play guard already. I love the value and depth with this class.
Scherff is not a left tackle like he played for the Hawkeyes, but he can be an All-Pro at left guard in the near future. There is explosive core power and he has the proper technique to unleash it, and his inability to reach faster rushers outside is mitigated moving inside. He’s a better guard prospect than Zack Martin, who quite successfully made the same move last year. His run blocking is football porn.
Tomlinson can be top-heavy as a pass protector, but he’s remarkably solid one step in every direction. He’s Larry Warford without the ability to get out into space.
Marpet was a revelation at the Senior Bowl coming out of D-III Hobart. He’ll need to add a little strength but his technique and coachability are top notch. Some project him at center.
Jackson and Cann are both ready-made NFL left guards. Neither has a high ceiling but both will do a fine job keeping their QBs upright and handling business as run blockers. Jackson carries more risk as he isn’t as lithe, and that’s not a word anyone would use to describe Cann either.
Spain is one of my favorite players in the draft and he won’t be selected anywhere near where I have him ranked. He is the best power run blocker in the draft, even better than Scherff…most of the time. If he can show more consistency with his punch, where he’s often a beat late and high, he’s going to be a Pro Bowler.
The depth even after this tier has potential. Mason lacks length but is a snowplow of a blocker. Douglas and Miller are among the many collegiate tackles who project better at guard. Douglas in particular could really blossom. Many are much higher than me on Harrison, an underachiever who was benched for lack of dedication to football. Myers has intriguing upside coming from a smaller school and has the athleticism to make it.
Not as strong as last year’s talented group, but there are a few talents here who can have long and effective NFL careers. It speaks volumes that the headliner here only played four games at the position in college.
Erving moved inside from being a 3rd-4th round tackle prospect and absolutely shined in his few games at center for the Seminoles. He has a chance to be elite at his new position with more experience as he learns to play lower.
Finney doesn’t look like a great athlete and has shorter arms than ideal, but he’s supremely efficient and effective at carrying out his job. His wrestling background shows in his ability to consistently win and maintain the leverage battle. Biggest knock is a lack of range.
Grasu has the opposite issue of Finney. He’s outstanding on the move and on combo blocks, but he doesn’t anchor well and loses the leverage battle too often. Zone-blocking teams will like him a lot more than power-oriented heads-up teams. Compares to Scott Wells, a guy who had a good, long career by being quicker and smarter than the guy across from him.
Mancz is similar to Grasu but even better on the move. He’s the best second-level blocker of any offensive lineman in this draft and has the ability to quickly pull around the tackle in front of a speed back. He’s dealing with a torn labrum in his shoulder that could keep him off the field as a rookie, and that pushed him down from 2nd to 5th in my rankings. He’ll never be a mauler and if the shoulder doesn’t regain--and add--strength, it’s a real problem.
Garcia and Gallik are both players your grandfather would love. They get by on effort, savvy and brute power more than textbook technique. Garcia is a little streakier, hence his lower overall ranking, but he could be better than all but Erving above him. He handled power inside better than any other center in this class.
There is a big gap down to the next group, which is headlined by Jasperse. None of these guys project as more than plug-in starters and are best-served being interior reserves. Dismukes has trouble snapping the ball and his play really fell off in 2014. Hamilton was a tackle for the Chanticleers but will move inside in the pros. Day is straight out of central casing for a Southern rock band roadie. Smith probably has a better chance than most of these here to stick because he’s versatile enough to play any line spot and his only real weakness is that he doesn’t have any one real strength.